Policyholders must be aware of arbitration clauses found in property insurance policies. Even if a state has an anti-arbitration law, most courts send the disputes to arbitration and possibly apply another state’s laws if the insurers are not based in the United States. For example, yesterday, a federal court ruled:1  

Continue Reading Missouri Court Upholds Arbitration Despite Anti-Arbitration Statute When Foreign Insurers Are Involved

A routine roof claim has significant results for Missouri property insurance adjustment. Some insurance companies try to chisel away at amounts owed by making up new arguments and pressing them in court. A Missouri appellate court had none of that, holding insurers should not deprecate labor when calculating actual cash value.1
Continue Reading Do Not Depreciate Labor When Calculating Actual Cash Value—Missouri Appellate Court Upholds Policyholder Win

Merlin Law Group attorney Drew Houghton is licensed in Missouri. We were discussing a Missouri hail case he was working on while at the International Roofing Expo. I mentioned that Missouri has the weirdest rules for determining actual cash value in the country and how difficult it makes Missouri hail claims, which always involve roofs.
Continue Reading Missouri Property Insurance Losses Are Different—An Update on Missouri’s Fair Market Value Method of Actual Cash Value

Missouri does not recognize a common law right to bring an action for the breach of the conversant of good faith and fair dealing for a first party property insurance claim. Instead, Missouri statutory law allows policyholders the right to hold insurance companies accountable for their “vexatious” refusal to pay.
Continue Reading Missouri Bad Faith Law—Understanding Missouri’s Vexatious Refusal to Pay Law

Director Chlora Lindley-Myers

Director of Missouri’s Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (“DIFP”), Chlora Lindley-Myers, oversees the regulating and monitoring of insurance activities, companies, and agents in Missouri. She was appointed on April 13, 2017. Within the DIFP, the Division of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) serves as a resource to Missouri consumers by providing consumers with insurance related information and the investigation of consumer complaints against insurance companies and producers for most types of insurance. DCA provides responses to insurance-related questions and complaints, assistance in resolving complaints, and assistance to Missouri consumers in understanding their options in handling insurance-related matters.
Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance about your Delaying, Denying and Bad Treating Insurance Company

Missouri has adopted a new standard for expert witness testimony. The old standard was based upon a statute, while the new standard follows the Daubert1 standard. In Daubert, the United States Supreme Court held that the enactment of the Federal Rules of Evidence overturned the Frye2 standard which had been in place since 1923. Frye held that evidence could be admitted in court only if “the thing from which the deduction is made” is “sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs.” Thirty-nine other states and the federal government follow Daubert to determine whether expert witnesses may testify in court.
Continue Reading Missouri’s New Expert Witness Standard

In researching an issue for a Public Adjuster, I came upon this gem of a case. In Missouri, the argument has always been that when calculating actual cash value you must use fair market value. This is not a good thing for most insureds, especially in big losses. It usually means a meager payment up front before repairs are made. However, the court has concluded that while this may be the calculation for fire losses, it does not apply to other losses, rather replacement cost minus depreciation is used to calculate ACV (when it is not defined in the policy). This is great news for hail, wind, water and other non-fire losses! Here is a summary of the case:1

Continue Reading In Missouri, ACV For Fire Losses Looks To Fair Market Value, But For Other Losses ACV Is Replacement Cost Minus Depreciation; Plus, Labor Costs Are Not Subject To Depreciation

I start most Saturday mornings in the same way—I read Nicole Vinson’s blog, which is always very informational and entertaining, and I do some research on insurance practices around the country. This Saturday, I woke up in Missouri after settling a large residential fire loss against Start Farm. This got me thinking about insurance companies that write policies in the state of Missouri and wondering who wrote the most policies. Here is what I found:

Continue Reading Missouri Insurance Statistics for Homeowners